This is a picture I did not take

of two young soldiers, a man and a woman, the former clean-shaven and the latter effervescent, both smiling and chatty while passing through an airport in their fatigues, their mood a stark contrast to the soldiers returning from battle who looked sleep-deprived at best, the couple breezy in their lightness, and as they were guided by a veteran to take an escalator up to the USO office, the young soldier turned and put his arm around the shoulder of the young woman in camouflage, and she turned to meet him as he pulled her close enough to kiss, and they met right in that middle, standing there as the escalator slowly lifted them into a future they could not know, their lips pressed together as if no one else would ever know this love, as if nothing else mattered.